New Unabridged Translations of the Rig Veda and the Mahabharata

2014 is shaping up to be a very good year for ancient Indian textual translations…

First, the Rig Veda, one of the very oldest texts in the world still available to us, as well as one of the most profound spiritual texts ever written, is being released next month by Oxford University Press with its first complete (unabridged) English translation in over 100 years. It should cap out at nearly 1,800 pages in three volumes with translation, scholarly commentary, and introductions by Stephanie W. Jamison and Joel P. Brereton.

See here:;jsessionid=805A23E00FFD249807CB3538F16BB890?cc=us&lang=en

And here:

Second, perhaps the greatest epic ever recorded, the Mahabharata, is also being released in the first new complete (unabridged) English translation in over 100 years by Penguin Books India. The complete Mahabharata is long, VERY LONG, Possibly the longest poem ever written. At about 1.8 million words, it is about ten times the length of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey combined, or coming close to three times the length of the Bible. It also contains the most well-known of the Hindu religious texts, the Bhagavad Gita. The translation is being completed by Indian economist and scholar, Debroy Bibek, in a planned 10 (possibly 11) volume set. Thus far, eight volumes are completed, with the remaining volumes to be released this year or next year. Thankfully, these volumes are also very affordable.

See here:

A deeper study of these texts is now easier and more readily available than ever before. And I assume lovers of the Kolbrin will appreciate the cross reference and comparison on a truly in depth level.


What is your opinion on these texts Len?

Well, I did give very generalized opinions of both in my opening post. It seems, however, you are asking for something a little more specific. I can say a little bit more on the general side, but otherwise, I will need more specific questions. The depth, complexity, and length of both of these texts have already spawned hundreds (perhaps thousands) of volumes of commentary, and could each deserve their own entire discussion forums.

The Mahabharata is a very unique piece of epic poetry. Set during the last age (as Hindus reckon ages), it tells an epic story. However, metaphorically it tells the story of an entire age. And it tells the story of all ages. Microcosmically, it tells the story of not only a life from birth to death, but an entire evolution of a Soulspirit, from first incarnation to last, and all variations in between. It is, simply put, the entire story of humanity from beginning to end.

“What is here may be found elsewhere. What is not here cannot be found anywhere else.” – From The Mahabharata

This is what it claims for itself. And there is truth to this claim that can be verified as one peels away the various metaphorical layers of what is contained therein.

It is deep wisdom in story form, using actual, verifiable historical details to lay out the past and future of human history.

As for the Rig Veda, it is the philosophical and religious basis of Hinduism. Everything in this culture which came after are based on the Vedas, of which the Rig Veda is the first. It discusses the metaphysical nature (and history) of creation and beyond, and how one may achieve anything they desire through ritual and metaphysical methods. It even allows for the fulfillment of evil desires, for this is also part of creation which must fully play itself out to its final conclusion.

The Rig Veda is a text that is at times highly thick and complexly layered in order to ward off those not worthy of her secrets. Many of these secrets are immensely powerful and dangerous. In fact, there are very few public texts in the world that contain so much powerful information. The fact that these secrets are so well guarded is a testament to its authors’ divinely inspired genius.

Much of it is very accessible for most people, however. And it would be wise to pass over that which is incomprehensible.

For most people, passing over both of these texts would be advisable. For the spiritually oriented Westerner, there are many more texts that are better suited to the present age and Western mindset, especially considering the Rig Veda, which contains so much raw power that it can actually be dangerous. (There are gentler and safer means to attain the same ends.) However, for in-depth and prepared students, there is a tremendous amount to be gained from a study of both of these texts.

Yeah I was meaning more of an opinion of its validity not so much a general description. ;)

Which was what I felt you did on the opening post. This second post seems to shed more light on your opinion of them (which seems to be favorable)

Yes, both are VERY VALID in my estimation, and my opinion is quite favorable.

However, they may not be the most useful tools in this time or culture…

Yes I understand your point and subscribe to it as well, I don't think I'd be up for most of that material. It would just fly above any usefulness for my current state of affairs ;)